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tv   Washington Journal Rep. Chris Stewart  CSPAN  October 25, 2017 6:33pm-6:40pm EDT

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we're going to be joining the house judiciary committee shortly as it continues to work on immigration legislation. we'll have live coverage of that markup here on c-span 3. while we wait, here's a portion of today's washington journal on the operations in niger. >> a member of the select intelligence committee here to join us to talk about a variety of topics this morning, good morning. where does this leave the tone of capitol hill particularly amongsted republicans, do you think?
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>> it's unfortunate. i think senator flake was facing a tough primary. it's indicative of the very divisive time we find ourselves in. i think the republican party is divided. the democratic party is equally divided. # i really mean that. we're seeing these ideas play out, i would say this, if we can be mooar respectful to each other, that would go a long way right now. >> do you think the statements that flake and corker made against the president are valid? >> some of it is there are some of us who think sometimes the president makes it harder how many times have we said we wished he wojt tweet at 4:00 in the morning. he chooses to communicate in a way no other president has done before. i think countering that, one thing i think that's hard to
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argue, there hasn't been a visceral opposition, or a press that's been so critical of a president in my lifetime. and again, i think it -- for both sides to tamp it down a little bit would be helpful. >> one of the things we invited you on the program to talk about was events in niger, particularly what's going on there in light of the death of the four u.s. soldiers. could you tell us what we know today. >> any time we lose soldiers, we need to understand why. i think a couple things, most people would be surprised, we have something like 800 u.s. soldiers in niger or that area. about 4,000 french soldiers they're working with. the reason we're there is because isis is there and al qaeda is there. we want to be able to bring stability to that part of the
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region and not give them a foothold like they had in other parts of the world, it's important for us to -- while they are a small group, to be able to counter them. so we know that these soldiers i have a chance to travel around the world, that's a wonderful opportunity. many times you see things that concern you. we looked at some of our isr, which is basically intelligence. the ability to look at the world around us. with our soldiers in sub is a hair an africa. we don't think they have the intelligence, the eyes and ears they need to protect themselves, that was probably demonstrated in this event a few days ago. especially as large as they did. they weren't capable and prepared to defend themselves. we lost four soldiers. >> is that an intelligence failure then? >> it would indicate that.
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there may be other failures, it certainly was an intelligence failure in the sense that they weren't expecting this ambush. if they had been expecting that, they would have been able to protect themselves i don't mean that abc news a criticism, the reality is, war is difficult. i don't mean too patronize or diminish the threat our soldiers face all around the world. we need to be able to look at this and say, could we have protected them better. was there intelligence that would have made their mission more safe. >> will you investigate in a hear something. >> i don't think so. i think we'll rely on the pentagon to do their investigation. if they don't answer those questions, we may, i expect they will. i don't think there's anything
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nefarious, it's not like there's something to hides, this is just combat. and we lose our soldiers in combat. i was an air force pilot. there's no one i love and respect more than these young men and women that are sacrificing everything to serve our country. but we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect th them, to give them the resources they need to complete their missions. we'll see what they conclude. i don't think there's anything to hide. we want to understand how we can do that better. >> we'll talk about these and other topics with our guest, republican of utah. 202-748-8000 for democrats. you can tweet us your thoughts and questions. a story this morning talks about the administration's stance on what's going on in niger.
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no change as they see it, would you agree? >> at this point i think i would. we have a mission there. we know what it is, it's an important mission, let's see what the pentagon says. i don't think we re-evaluate the necessity for our soldiers being there at this point. >> one of the things we talked to you about this morning is an investigation by russia. can you give us a status report? >> the first question is, what's going on with the russian investigation most people think about russia's attempt to interfere in the u.s. election last year. i was in moscow last summer. i came home and said to me, they're going to try to intervene, mess with our election, no question that they would, and they did.

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